Crunchy“I only eat Cheerios for breakfast.” says one of my clients on the autism spectrum.  People on the autism spectrum often have reduced palates. Sensory processing disorders can impact speech and language.Some children are sensitive to sensory information like tags on clothing, textures of food, noise level, quality of light, and more. Sensory processing disorder is often a symptoms of autism.   Regularly falling,  only eating certain textures of food,  having little sense of one’s body, and difficulty tolerating bright lights are all symptoms of sensory processing disorder. Sensory processing disorder is when the brain mutes or magnifies incoming information from our five senses, vision, hearing smell, feel and taste. 

So what’s this have to do with speech and language?  Reduced information regarding coordination of breath and speech can cause difficulty initiating speech for conversations. Sensory problems, in addition, to problems with language formulation can bring conversations to a standstill.  Difficulty picking up cues locating your body in space, in relation to others, can impact conversation skills.  

In addition, when creating a comfortable work environment  for people on the autism spectrum consideration must be given to lighting, strong smells, and loud sounds. One symptom of autism, is sensory processing disorder which can  impact environment choices as well as, speech and language.